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I vs. H color in round diamonds

brimley

Rough_Rock
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Feb 28, 2014
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21
I'm almost there with the purchase of a round diamond, but my final reservation is with respect to the color. It is I color, and I am concerned with the fact that it isn't H. I specifically looked for diamonds with I color in order to lower the price, but am having some last minute anxiety about it. The diamond is GIA xxx, VS2, HCA 1.4 (GIA # 2151856258).

I wouldn't ever want my soon-to-be fiance to be embarrassed due to having a yellow/"warm" diamond.

Any high-level thoughts on this?
 

ecf8503

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 14, 2005
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3,706
An I is fine, IMO. I have a J emerald cut, a cut which is known to concentrate color, and it looks nice and white face up. In direct sunlight I can see a tint, but it isn't bothersome - just gives it a little character, but is by no means yellow. I had an L, and it was too tinted. I also have a D and several G's, and the J holds it's own. In addition, ideal cut rounds will hide body color nicely; more so than some other shapes. It's like white paint - you never realize how many shades of white there are until you go shopping and they hand you all the sample sheets! My D is a cool white, G is neutral, and my J is slightly warmer. But not yellow at all. I think you're safe. Do you have a good return policy just in case, though?
 

brimley

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
21
ecf8503|1394130075|3628734 said:
An I is fine, IMO. I have a J emerald cut, a cut which is known to concentrate color, and it looks nice and white face up. In direct sunlight I can see a tint, but it isn't bothersome - just gives it a little character, but is by no means yellow. I had an L, and it was too tinted. I also have a D and several G's, and the J holds it's own. In addition, ideal cut rounds will hide body color nicely; more so than some other shapes. It's like white paint - you never realize how many shades of white there are until you go shopping and they hand you all the sample sheets! My D is a cool white, G is neutral, and my J is slightly warmer. But not yellow at all. I think you're safe. Do you have a good return policy just in case, though?
Cool, thanks for your comments. Well, it's Blue Nile, so I wouldn't say it's a good return policy since it would probably cost around $50, but it is certainly sufficient.
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
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Aug 5, 2012
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926
It certainly won't look yellow or even "warm." Even experts can't tell one grade apart in normal conditions (mounted in a ring, various colors of lights). You probably will see a difference between an I and a D in normal conditions if you put them side by side, especially if you look at the sides of the diamonds. Some people do in fact do this, and get ribbed for not having a D, but having an H wouldn't help you much. If it's well cut it should face up very bright and it that case it will look brighter than the average D.

IMHO jewelers like to exaggerate the degree of tint in diamonds so they can convince people that the guy down the street is trying to sell them a yellow diamond. The proliferation of misgraded stones doesn't help either.
 

brimley

Rough_Rock
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Feb 28, 2014
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21
Great. Thanks for comments. I now feel significantly more comfortable with the purchase.
 

artdecolover71

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
1,327
have you watched Good Old Gold's you tube channel? They have an awesome video on diff "colors" both face up and Face down (the way they are actually graded). I just bought an I stone from them (had an H before).
 

momhappy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
4,660
As an owner of an I round diamond, I must admit that sometimes I do see a bit of a "tint" that does not appeal to me. However, I have a good friend who's parents own a high-end jewelry store (and she's a bit of a self-proclaimed diamond "expert" herself) and even though I've never talked to her about the details of my stone, she's convinced that it's near colorless. My stone has an excellent cut and is super-sparkly, so that seems to overshadow everything else. It's also entirely possible that I'm just super-sensitive about the stone (knowing that it is an I), and I might see things that others don't.
 

baby monster

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 2, 2007
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3,622
I have an I color stone and don't see any yellow or warmth in it. For reference, the background paint color in pic below is lancaster white by Benjamin Moore.

20140212_120312-1.jpg
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 30, 2005
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27,248
I have diamonds that are D E F G and H, all graded by GIA or AGS.

When I put them side by side under soft even light that produces no fire and look at a side view I can see color in the F, the G and the H when comparing each to the D.
I can see no difference between the D and E.

The slight color in the G is not enough to bug me, but the H would bug me.
I couldn't wear an I.

Oddly, I'd have no problem wearing a color that had no chance of passing for colorless, like an L to Z.
This shows how illogical my brain is.

I guess this makes I to M my no-go-zone.
Sorry. ;-)
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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OP, what type of setting are you getting her? This will make a huge difference in the perception of color. (i.e. a setting that doesn't allow much of the diamond to be viewed from the side will allow you to go down in color, as the stone will only be viewed face up)

I have a MRB J that looks very white due to the nature of my setting. However, put the same diamond in a setting with an open gallery, and I don't think I'd be happy. FWIW, I originally picked out a 2ct. I MRB in a solitaire and it looked very white.

This is my J in sunlight:
img_2107.jpg

This is as tinted as it ever looks (in horrible office lighting and the background is also dark):

imag0055-2.jpg imag0053_0.jpg
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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baby monster|1394141188|3628853 said:
I have an I color stone and don't see any yellow or warmth in it. For reference, the background paint color in pic below is lancaster white by Benjamin Moore.
I don't see any warmth in this stone -- and that setting doesn't hide anything! Great example, baby monster! :appl:
 

MichelleCarmen

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kenny|1394143622|3628871 said:
I have diamonds that are D E F G and H, all graded by GIA or AGS.

When I put them side by side under soft even light that produces no fire and look at a side view I can see color in the F, the G and the H when comparing each to the D.
I can see no difference between the D and E.

The slight color in the G is not enough to bug me, but the H would bug me.
I couldn't wear an I.

Oddly, I'd have no problem wearing a color that had no chance of passing for colorless, like an L to Z.
This shows how illogical my brain is.

I guess this makes I to M my no-go-zone.
Sorry. ;-)

I've owned D, E, F, G, & I certified diamonds and like Kenny can see the warmth in G diamonds. I decided to try I colored diamonds (ideal cut) for a pair of studs and they do have a slight buff color to me. Other people cannot tell with I color, but I for sure can see the tint even if I don't compare my I stones to other stones. The diamonds are really pretty but I don't think I'd buy I color stones again. For me F-H is the ideal range...
 

Sakuracherry

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 24, 2012
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The I never bothered me when looking down from the top. However, I couldn't stand the side view. Now I have a 2ct H and the tint visible from the sides bothers me, but I knew I had to compromise on color to get the size I wanted. Something has to give. I recommend that you go to a local jewelry store and look at GIA certified stones before ordering the stone.
 

TC1987

Brilliant_Rock
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PS has pretty much said for years that the "I" color range is where most people can start to see tint, at least from the side. I have an I color diamond with blue fluor, and it faces up very bright white. I owned it for years (1994 - 2004) and never noticed any tint in it at all until about 2004 when I found Pricescope and started studying things. It has a slight antique white tone to it, not bright white or colorless. I don't notice much tint in G and H, but I can see it a little. I don't thinkH would bother most people. Pricescope people tend to scrutinize every nuance and detail much more closely than the average person does. And seeing tint doesn't mean that the tint will be disliked.
 

jimyhoff

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2014
Messages
65
I was at a de beers store in Las Vegas this last weekend and could most start to see color in the I diamonds. That's putting them side by side though.
 

kay1

Shiny_Rock
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Feb 14, 2014
Messages
228
I went to debeers yesterday (see my other thread about crazy prices for poor quality diamonds), and I looked at a G, H, J and K, all set in roughly the same kind of settings.

Looking at them independently, I couldn't see any difference face up. Only when I looked very closely did I see a slight yellow tint when held at a certain angle - a bit like a slightly dirty glass window - in the J and K.

Putting the G and K together I still couldn't tell the difference at a normal distance (that someone else would see your ring at, even if you put your hand out to show them), only when looking right into the diamonds could I tell.

Even the debeers woman told me it's pretty unlikely you can tell a difference unless you had two rings under your nose and next to each other. She then put one on each hand and randomly showed them to me. I couldn't tell the difference from a couple of feet.

From the side however, I could see more of the 'yellow dirty glass' look. Even the G and H next to each other you could tell a slight difference. J and G was unmistakable and K was plainly yellow.

I went into cartier next, and the guy there said the same thing. He was actually a graduate GIA and said the way they grade them (with master sets etc) isn't easy and obvious. They compare back and forth till they can tell which master stone it matches too, and that's with a special noon lamp and white background. He also said that in normal conditions there are too many variables - lighttype , angle, setting, even skin tone for anyoen to see 1 or even 2 grades difference in colour, even when two rings are next to each other.

Both debeers and cartier, as well as everything i've read here and on the net do say though that you need a great cut. Of course cut is king anyway, but it can be tempting to drop colour, and then cut too to size up the stone. That's a massive mistake. If you must drop colour the cut is even more important. The light return (or lack of) will show/mask the stone colour more than anything else.

You should also consider if the stone will be visible from the side in your setting.

Personally i'm having the same dillema actually. Either:

1.87ct / H / VS1 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 0.9)

2.14 ct / H / VS2 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 2.3)

2.01 ct / I / VS2 / Strong fluorescence (AGS0)

or the big one:

2.50 ct / J / VVS2 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 1.8 )

Decisions decisions :/ What would you go for?
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
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kay1|1394204342|3629284 said:
I went to debeers yesterday (see my other thread about crazy prices for poor quality diamonds), and I looked at a G, H, J and K, all set in roughly the same kind of settings.

Looking at them independently, I couldn't see any difference face up. Only when I looked very closely did I see a slight yellow tint when held at a certain angle - a bit like a slightly dirty glass window - in the J and K.

Putting the G and K together I still couldn't tell the difference at a normal distance (that someone else would see your ring at, even if you put your hand out to show them), only when looking right into the diamonds could I tell.

Even the debeers woman told me it's pretty unlikely you can tell a difference unless you had two rings under your nose and next to each other. She then put one on each hand and randomly showed them to me. I couldn't tell the difference from a couple of feet.

From the side however, I could see more of the 'yellow dirty glass' look. Even the G and H next to each other you could tell a slight difference. J and G was unmistakable and K was plainly yellow.

I went into cartier next, and the guy there said the same thing. He was actually a graduate GIA and said the way they grade them (with master sets etc) isn't easy and obvious. They compare back and forth till they can tell which master stone it matches too, and that's with a special noon lamp and white background. He also said that in normal conditions there are too many variables - lighttype , angle, setting, even skin tone for anyoen to see 1 or even 2 grades difference in colour, even when two rings are next to each other.

Both debeers and cartier, as well as everything i've read here and on the net do say though that you need a great cut. Of course cut is king anyway, but it can be tempting to drop colour, and then cut too to size up the stone. That's a massive mistake. If you must drop colour the cut is even more important. The light return (or lack of) will show/mask the stone colour more than anything else.

You should also consider if the stone will be visible from the side in your setting.

Personally i'm having the same dillema actually. Either:

1.87ct / H / VS1 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 0.9)

2.14 ct / H / VS2 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 2.3)

2.01 ct / I / VS2 / Strong fluorescence (AGS0)

or the big one:

2.50 ct / J / VVS2 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 1.8 )

Decisions decisions :/ What would you go for?
Is size your priority? I wouldn't want a J for an eng ring, but that's just personal preference (and I'd sacrifice size for a diamond w/less color). Out of the ones you listed, I'd probably keep shopping because I'd prefer the H color diamond with the HCA of .9, but I don't think I'd want to pay the VS1 premium, BUT, I'd look for a similar diamond with a VS2. I wouldn't go down to an SI1 like often is recommended on PS since the diamond is larger and an eng ring.
 

kay1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
228
MC|1394213216|3629367 said:
Is size your priority? I wouldn't want a J for an eng ring, but that's just personal preference (and I'd sacrifice size for a diamond w/less color). Out of the ones you listed, I'd probably keep shopping because I'd prefer the H color diamond with the HCA of .9, but I don't think I'd want to pay the VS1 premium, BUT, I'd look for a similar diamond with a VS2. I wouldn't go down to an SI1 like often is recommended on PS since the diamond is larger and an eng ring.
I guess i'm not sure. There's a lot of diamond options and i posted the ones above particularly to illustrate the point that at about the same price give or take a few % (which doesn't mean much at these prices)

(When i say cut i mean in terms of HCA score)

1.87ct / H / VS1 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 0.9)
2.14 ct / H / VS2 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 2.3)
- For H colour I can have an amazing-cut 1.87ct (HCA 0.9), OR a good-cut 2.14 ct (HCA 2.3) - Trading cut for size.
(HCA<2 cut at this price you get about 1.7 to 1.8 ct, for around HCA 2 to 2.5 i get about 2 ct)

2.01 ct / I / VS2 / Strong fluorescence (AGS0)
- For I colour i can have and AGS0 (perfect light return) 2.01
(Or I can save money on anything smaller and still get an amazing HCA/AGS0)

2.50 ct / J / VVS2 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 1.8 )
- For J colour I can have a very-good cut 2.50ct

I'm not sure where to do the trade off!

The VS1/VS2/VVS1/VVS2 are more artifacts of what is available. Dropping from VS1 to VS2 for example doesn't necessarily save you money unless there is a diamond available. If I had it my way all of the above would be VS2.
 

WillyDiamond

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
1,201
This is an I center stone. If you see color you don't like, then don't go with an "I"

img_3931.jpg
 

partners

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
66
Hey fella - thought I would chime in as I was in your shoes a few months ago.

From what I learned, color has a lot to do with perception.
Some can't tell the diff between a H and K, while others can probably tell the difference between D and E.
Furthermore, in a bigger stone, the color/warmth is more visible b/c of the size.
Having said that, your fiance may fit in either of the groups or be somewhere in between.

Unless you want to taker her with you and have her look at the stone, I would opt for something conservative, esp since you are looking at stones in the 2ct range.

Keep in mind that I am not an expert or anything close, but I was able to tell the difference between a 2ct H vs a 2ct I, but not between a G vs a H. It may have been just the stones I was looking at, but I doubt it as I went to many shops and looked at many stones.

In order to have the peace of mind, I opted for the H b/c I could tell the difference. I am not sure if my S.O. would be able to though...
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,515
kay1|1394216966|3629407 said:
MC|1394213216|3629367 said:
Is size your priority? I wouldn't want a J for an eng ring, but that's just personal preference (and I'd sacrifice size for a diamond w/less color). Out of the ones you listed, I'd probably keep shopping because I'd prefer the H color diamond with the HCA of .9, but I don't think I'd want to pay the VS1 premium, BUT, I'd look for a similar diamond with a VS2. I wouldn't go down to an SI1 like often is recommended on PS since the diamond is larger and an eng ring.
I guess i'm not sure. There's a lot of diamond options and i posted the ones above particularly to illustrate the point that at about the same price give or take a few % (which doesn't mean much at these prices)

(When i say cut i mean in terms of HCA score)

1.87ct / H / VS1 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 0.9)
2.14 ct / H / VS2 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 2.3)
- For H colour I can have an amazing-cut 1.87ct (HCA 0.9), OR a good-cut 2.14 ct (HCA 2.3) - Trading cut for size.
(HCA<2 cut at this price you get about 1.7 to 1.8 ct, for around HCA 2 to 2.5 i get about 2 ct)

2.01 ct / I / VS2 / Strong fluorescence (AGS0)
- For I colour i can have and AGS0 (perfect light return) 2.01
(Or I can save money on anything smaller and still get an amazing HCA/AGS0)

2.50 ct / J / VVS2 / Strong fluorescence (HCA 1.8 )
- For J colour I can have a very-good cut 2.50ct


I'm not sure where to do the trade off!

The VS1/VS2/VVS1/VVS2 are more artifacts of what is available. Dropping from VS1 to VS2 for example doesn't necessarily save you money unless there is a diamond available. If I had it my way all of the above would be VS2.
OP, the HCA isn't the "be-all, end-all" to a diamond. There are experts on here that will tell you that a diamond can still be amazing above 2. It doesn't go from excellent to "just very good" at 2.1 -- just so you know. :)) The 2.5 J with HCA 1.8 shows great performance according to the HCA, and worth looking at... (Are the bolded stones listed as "Very Good" cut on the cert, or are you basing this on the HCA? ...just to clarify)

As another poster mentioned, something has to give. If it's a solitaire that exposes the side view of the stone, I wouldn't go below I... sometimes not below H, depending on the stone in question. What do you think is more important to your FF, a larger stone with a slight tint or a smaller, whiter stone? It's really just about preference. :))
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
9,515
partners|1394222098|3629472 said:
Hey fella - thought I would chime in as I was in your shoes a few months ago.

From what I learned, color has a lot to do with perception.
Some can't tell the diff between a H and K, while others can probably tell the difference between D and E.
Furthermore, in a bigger stone, the color/warmth is more visible b/c of the size.
Having said that, your fiance may fit in either of the groups or be somewhere in between.

Unless you want to taker her with you and have her look at the stone, I would opt for something conservative, esp since you are looking at stones in the 2ct range.

Keep in mind that I am not an expert or anything close, but I was able to tell the difference between a 2ct H vs a 2ct I, but not between a G vs a H. It may have been just the stones I was looking at, but I doubt it as I went to many shops and looked at many stones.

In order to have the peace of mind, I opted for the H b/c I could tell the difference. I am not sure if my S.O. would be able to though...
+1
If you're in doubt, this is the safest thing to do. Then after you propose, just straight up ask her if she'd rather have a larger stone in a lower color. If she is open to the idea, she may want to have a look for herself to decide. This way, everybody's happy. :bigsmile:
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
9,515
WillyDiamond|1394222372|3629475 said:
Here are a few more pics of "I" center stone:
GOD, that's BEAUTIFUL!!! :love: :love: :love: Perfect setting for an I!!!
 

kay1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
228
Wow, what size stone is that in that halo? And where is the setting from???

Msop04 - yeah my point with those diamonds wasn't that the HCA, clarity or anything else was a definite, or even that any of those diamonds were worthy of buying. More that if you drop to a colour then cut or size gives by roughly this much.

I'm basing cut on HCA score as a guide before actually seeing the diamond. If it's below 3 i'll take a look if everything else looks good. Anything past 3 i generally won't waste my time :)
 

WillyDiamond

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Messages
1,201
kay1|1394223960|3629504 said:
Wow, what size stone is that in that halo? And where is the setting from???

Msop04 - yeah my point with those diamonds wasn't that the HCA, clarity or anything else was a definite, or even that any of those diamonds were worthy of buying. More that if you drop to a colour then cut or size gives by roughly this much.

I'm basing cut on HCA score as a guide before actually seeing the diamond. If it's below 3 i'll take a look if everything else looks good. Anything past 3 i generally won't waste my time :)
Kay1--the center stone is a 1.444 carat, the setting is from ERD
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
9,515
kay1|1394223960|3629504 said:
Wow, what size stone is that in that halo? And where is the setting from???

Msop04 - yeah my point with those diamonds wasn't that the HCA, clarity or anything else was a definite, or even that any of those diamonds were worthy of buying. More that if you drop to a colour then cut or size gives by roughly this much.

I'm basing cut on HCA score as a guide before actually seeing the diamond. If it's below 3 i'll take a look if everything else looks good. Anything past 3 i generally won't waste my time :)
Although you can't base cut on the HCA (GIA XXX's can score waaaay above 2), I agree about still looking at some that are a little above the magic HCA 2... Some may scoff at my stone because it scored a 2.6 on the HCA, but I love it! It looks amazing -- I actually wish I'd never run the HCA on it (to spare my own feelings), but as they say, "you can't buy diamonds solely based on numbers..." You're not buying a cert or a score on a calculator -- you're buying a gorgeous diamond! :love: If it speaks to you, who cares if it's a 2.4 on the HCA??!! :bigsmile: ;))

Thought you might be interested to read some of the experts opinions:
https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/hca-2-0-but-still-performs.192820/
 

kay1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
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Messages
228
I know what you mean - the current stone I have in the petal ring is a 1.71 and scored a 5.0! I've been to tiffany, debeers, and cartier and with the exception of one ring at cartier I didn't think any other stone had anything that much more special compared to it.

An expert told me that because the angles on the reports are an average and only measure one pavilion etc the HCA tool can be _totally_ wrong VERY easily. If i see two comparable stones - same on price and everything else, then i'll pick the one with a lower HCA.

The thing is tho, it's a lot of mental trauma too - you don't want to keep sending stones back and forth, and no matter what the HCA score is, it matters somewhere in your brain, even if you had an AGS0 and perfect light return images, some small part wants that one number to be perfect too lol. It also works in reverse where you know you have a dud but the HCA makes you feel better.

I totally get what you mean - I almost hope I hadn't run the HCA tool ont he diamond I have now - i'd never have known!
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
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kay1|1394225887|3629538 said:
I know what you mean - the current stone I have in the petal ring is a 1.71 and scored a 5.0! I've been to tiffany, debeers, and cartier and with the exception of one ring at cartier I didn't think any other stone had anything that much more special compared to it.

An expert told me that because the angles on the reports are an average and only measure one pavilion etc the HCA tool can be _totally_ wrong VERY easily. If i see two comparable stones - same on price and everything else, then i'll pick the one with a lower HCA.

The thing is tho, it's a lot of mental trauma too - you don't want to keep sending stones back and forth, and no matter what the HCA score is, it matters somewhere in your brain, even if you had an AGS0 and perfect light return images, some small part wants that one number to be perfect too lol. It also works in reverse where you know you have a dud but the HCA makes you feel better.

I totally get what you mean - I almost hope I hadn't run the HCA tool ont he diamond I have now - i'd never have known!
I get ya, kay1... I get ya. The reality is that if it's a gorgeous stone but scores >2 on HCA, then you've got a gorgeous stone. I was bummed for a minute when mine scored above 2, because I was just so sure it would be really good. Then I realized that no matter what it scored, it makes my heart skip a beat every time I look at it! That was the moment that I didn't care about the HCA... at least not where my stone is concerned. ;))
 
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